The Fabled Appendix!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

For my inaugural blog post, I thought I'd try to hark back to some of the old-school roots that Paizo has blended together to create the world of Golarion. As many members of the Paizo staff have been playing the game since first edition, they've made it a design goal to create a setting that is true to the roots of the hobby while remaining fresh and exciting.

At the time of the publication of the first edition Dungeon Masters Guide in 1979, the book's Appendix N was fairly revolutionary. This appendix consisted of a list of pulp fantasy authors that E. Gary Gygax considered to have had the largest role in shaping Dungeons & Dragons. This list included such famous authors as Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, H. P. Lovecraft, and Michael Moorcock. What made Appendix N so remarkable was that, at the time, most these authors were relatively unknown, with only a handful of older authors enjoying a resurgence of popularity thanks to the efforts of contemporary fantasists such as L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter.

Since the publication of that first DMG, Appendix N has played a role in the development of the hobby that is hard to overemphasize. The authors and works listed in the appendix influenced the earliest editions of the game and continue to steer game designers 30 years later. The first two printings of the first edition Deities & Demigods, for instance, contained the Melnibonéan pantheon from Michael Moorcock's Elric series, as well as the Great Old Ones of H. P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos. And today in the Pathfinder Chronicles campaign setting, Edgar Rice Burroughs's tales of Mars and Venus have helped to inspire Golarion's own red and green sister planets. Indeed, the whole Planet Stories line was launched with the intent of reintroducing pulp fantasy authors to modern gamers. The roots of Appendix N are deep and far-reaching indeed.

With this in mind, I plan to explore which books, movies, comics, and roleplaying products members of the Paizo staff have found most influential in both their style of design and the development of Golarion. And our first interviewee will be Paizo's own publisher, Erik Mona. Look for it next time!

David Eitelbach
Editorial Intern

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Appendix N Interns Interviews
Sign in to start a discussion.